I’ve had a pretty simple goal ever since I first started managing teams years ago. My friends used to tell me I was crazy to have this thought process. Maybe my friends were right because it is a risky strategy.
Yet, I think this strategy is the key to whatever success I’ve had in business. And I’ll bet this strategy will have the same effect for you. What is this strategy?
You should focus on obsoleting yourself by building a great team.
It’s crazy, I know. By definition, you’re out of a job when you obsolete yourself. That’s the risk. But that’s a very shortsighted view of obsoleting yourself.
What does obsoleting yourself really mean?
Obsoleting yourself means that you’re free to work on higher level tasks because you’ve effectively delegated everything else to your team.
That’s the beauty of obsoleting yourself. Now your team is free to run the business without any involvement from you. And you can work on the things only you, the CEO, can do.
You gain leverage when you effectively delegate as much as you can to your team. And that leverage allows your company to scale because your team can take on more and more responsibility as the company continues growing.
Now there are several keys to making obsoleting yourself work:
A. You have to hire great people.
Like everything else, any successful strategy always comes back to hiring great people. Specifically, when you think about the qualities you need to successfully obsolete yourself, you’re looking for people who are:
- Smart, and are…
- Passionate about your company’s mission, and…
- Fit your company culture, and can…
- Think independently, and…
- Take action, and, most importantly…
- Ask for help when they get stuck.
This leads to the second key to obsoleting yourself:
B. You have to stay involved in the business.
But you’re stepping away from the day to day operations. How does staying involved make any sense?
The critical mistake that too many people make is they don’t monitor what’s going on once they delegate a task. They just assume the task will get done properly.
That’s a recipe for disaster.
Instead, you want to check in on what’s happening. You need to ask questions to the managers you’ve given the authority to, and you need to provide guidance to the managers as well.
This leads to the third and final key to successfully obsoleting yourself:
C: You have to let your managers make mistakes.
Now I’m not advocating you let a manager make a fatal mistake. In that case, you have to step in. However, you also need to let your managers do things their own way, even if this means they may likely suffer a small failure.
Stepping in too soon undermines your managers. So grit your teeth, and let your managers do things their way.
If you hire great people, and you stay disciplined then you can achieve your goal of stepping away from the day to day operations and working at a higher level.
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